Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Pre-Existing Conditions

It is difficult to turn on the news or open a newspaper (do people still do that?) without hearing a discussion of pre-existing conditions. The discussion relates to replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am fortunate that employer-provided health insurance isn’t impacted by the ACA, as my affinity for burritos could actually qualify as a pre-exiting condition subjecting me to increased premiums. While I do not purport to be a health insurance attorney, there are other areas of insurance impacted by pre-existing conditions. Understanding these issues could be the difference between an insurance denial and a substantial recovery.

Homeowners, associations, and businesses typically renew their property insurance every year. Many businesses and most associations also receive yearly, or at least periodic, reserve studies. The reserve study often includes some form of property inspection. Those reports sometimes identify property damage and recommend further investigation. Unfortunately, many associations do not have the money or experience to act after receiving the report. I have had numerous insurance claims where insurers have argued that claimed property damage was known by the insured prior to purchasing the policy; a “pre-existing condition” that precludes coverage.

If your home, association, or business is notified of property damage or given a recommendation to investigate further, due diligence suggests contacting an experienced attorney to help you understand what steps, if any, are warranted. Ignoring these reports may ultimately result in an insurance denial or unfunded repairs. When that happens, you may be required to dip into your burrito fund for what could have been a covered claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions

It is difficult to turn on the news or open a newspaper (do people still do that?) without hearing a discussion of pre-existing conditions. The discussion relates to replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I am fortunate that employer-provided health insurance isn't impacted by the ACA, as my affinity for burritos could actually qualify as a pre-exiting condition subjecting me to increased premiums. While I do not purport to be a health insurance attorney, there are other areas of insurance impacted by pre-existing conditions. Understanding these issues could be the difference between an insurance denial and a substantial recovery. read more

Here Comes the Sun

In preparation for writing this week's blog post, I googled songs about the sun. Dozens of cheery, happy songs immediately sprung from the internet. Out of curiosity, I also googled songs about rain. A few select, dreary, and depressing songs popped up. I decided on Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. The reason: we finally get at least a tease of sunshine indicating spring is on the way. After 738 straight days of rain in the Pacific Northwest (at least that is my recollection), we are finally getting some well-deserved sunshine. read more

Election Got'cha!

This is the time of the year when many community associations hold board member elections. The process is easy, right? The association identifies the number of open positions, solicits nominations, sends out a meeting notice with candidate information and proxies in accordance with the governing documents (usually bylaws), and conducts the meeting following protocols outlined in the governing documents or Robert's Rules. If applicable, nominations are taken from the floor, and after giving the candidates an opportunity to briefly speak and answer questions, the vote is taken and the candidate or candidates who receive the highest number of votes, win(s). Easy, right? Not necessarily. read more

Discover the Truth About Your Contractor

A recent newspaper article warned homeowners of an inspector who had been fined more than $80,000 by Oregon's Construction Contractors Board (or "CCB") for performing illegitimate inspections and using the license number of an inspector who had the same first and last name. It is a reminder that licensure comes with important consumer protections, including insurance and bond requirements and other reporting obligations intended to put owners on notice of a history of problems. read more

You Won the Election, Now What?

Congratulations! You threw your hat in the ring, ran a vigorous issues-based campaign promising to shake up the establishment, and ultimately won a seat on your association's board of directors. Once the champagne stops flowing, consider the following tips to get your term off to a productive start. read more

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